The Real Head Coaches of Denverâ„¢ Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! You know all that talk about the Broncos' ironclad secrecy under Josh McDaniels? The Belichick-like tightening of the lines of communication? If the past few days are any indication, the Broncos under John Elway will be overcompensating like a teenage girl who just discovered eyeliner. In a rather bizarre (and frankly unnerving) twist, the team posted a video of Perry Fewell (who speaks very well) riding to his interview from DIA, and then a mid-interview picture of Fewell and a pre-interview shot of Eric Studesville.

Transparency is great and all, as is the unprecedented access that Elway has provided with his new Twitter account. But while an NFL head-coaching gig is a very public job, and it's desirable of any candidate to be comfortable in the spotlight, there's just something uncomfortably voyeuristic about this new approach. What's next? Is Elway going to tell Peter King that Fewell had bad breath or that Studesville was mixing tenses?

Makes one again wonder why Mark Mike Mularkey snubbed the Broncos on their interview request, no? If you were a seasoned coaching candidate (ie. not a young hotshot), and a team said, "Come interview with us. One condition though - the second you get off the plane, the cameras will be rolling and you'll be on Bravo later that night," what would you say? It'll be interesting to see if John Fox gets the same treatment today...

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Wild Card Sunday Open Thread

Enjoy the games, everyone! Go Ravens and whoever will beat the Bears!!!

UPDATE 2:07PM ET - Shannon Sharpe is among 15 modern-era finalists for induction to the Pro Football HOF in 2011. Terrell Davis, the greatest postseason runner in NFL history, was among 11 semifinalists who did not make the cut.

Damage control Lard 1-9-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! It seems John Elway has learned his first tough lesson in running an NFL team - be careful what you say to Peter King. Yesterday on NBC, King related a conversation he had with Elway in which the new football exec says he "(doesn't) think Tim Tebow is a good NFL quarterback at this time." King went on to say that if Josh McDaniels lands a job with a team in need of a QB, he could see the former Broncos coach pushing to acquire Tebow. Shortly afterward, Elway scrambled to clarify his remarks via Twitter, saying that Tebow could "turn (himself) into a great QB," that Elway and the organization "think very highly of him," and that any trade speculation is "completely false."

Meanwhile, the Broncos have received permission to interview John Fox and are expected to do so sometime this week. Plus, Gregg Williams is suddenly available to interview after his defense got torched yesterday by the 7-9 Seahawks.

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John Elway denies report he is trading Tim Tebow

Doug should have more on this in tomorrow's Lard, but John Elway just hit is twitter account hard, denying tonight's report on NBC from Peter King that Elway is looking to trade Tim Tebow to the team that lands Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator.

King reported that Elway told him exactly this yesterday:

"I don't think Tim Tebow is a good NFL quarterback at this time."

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Saturday Wild Card Open Thread

Enjoy today's games and feel free to throw down your thoughts on the action.

The Jesus, The Generator and the Experts - Playoff edition

We thought we'd keep our experts' picks running through the playoffs.

So here you go:

WILD CARD WEEKEND   Random Number Generator Jesus Quintana TJ "The Dude" Johnson Doug Lee
VISTOR HOME Pick Pick Team Team

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Broncos interested in Fox, Rivera Lard 1-8-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The Broncos have asked the Panthers' permission to speak with John Fox - although it was announced that Fox will not return to Carolina, his contract isn't up for a few weeks. Denver will be interviewing Jaguars OC Dirk Koetter and last night received permission to interview longtime Broncos player and coach Rick Dennison, who was Houston's OC in 2010 after fifteen seasons as a Broncos assistant. John Elway also said Chargers DC Ron Rivera is a candidate for the head job, while Brian Xanders added Gregg Williams to that list. Elway also stated that Jim Fassel's name had come up in discussions.

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Broncos will interview Dennison and Jags’ Koetter

According to the DP, the Broncos have requested the Texans' permission to interview Houston's OC and longtime Denver player and coach Rick Dennison for their open head coaching position. Dennison played for the Broncos from 1982-1990 and was an assistant coach for the team from 1995 to 2009.

UPDATE 6:17PM ET - John Elway has announced via Twitter that the Broncos have received permission to speak with Jaguars OC Dirk Koetter about their head job. The 51-year old Koetter has been with Jacksonville since the 2007 season following head coaching stints at Boise State (1998-2000) and Arizona State (2001-2006). More on Koetter after the break...

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The return of Elway

When John Elway took the podium on Wednesday to being his tenure as the Executive VP of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos, he wasn’t shy about taking on some touchy subjects. On the other hand, John Elway has rarely been shy about too much of anything.

He talked at length about things like integrity and dedication, about the unique relationship that the Broncos have with their fans, and how his new position is something that he’s looked forward to for a long time. He’s already hit the ground running, with 25-minute meetings with each of the incumbent assistant coaches. The coaches had already been required to do their year-end player analyses, and Elway wanted their input on the players as much as he wanted to get up to speed on who, on the staff and on the roster, he might consider suggesting the next head coach keep. But Elway also made it clear that GM Brian Xanders will handle personnel decisions for the most part, and the head coach will provide his own input.

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The Playbook Abides: Tripping up Tebow

Over the last several weeks of analyzing Tim Tebow's throws, I've come to believe he is already making great strides in his pre-snap reads.

This shouldn't have come as much of a surprise.  After all, Urban's Meyer's offense at Florida was, in part, predicated by reading both safeties and their position relative to the line of scrimmage.  When Josh McDaniels (hiss!) said that Tebow and he were at the whiteboard for hours upon meeting, he wasn't lying (no one knows if Brian Xanders was informed of the whiteboard incident).  Tebow wasn't completely green at reading defenses pre-snap like many college quarterbacks are.

But unfortunately for quarterbacks, the defense rarely stands still after the snap of the ball. What first appears like an outside linebacker blitz is actually a zone coverage to the flat. What appears like middle-zone coverage is actually a delayed linebacker blitz.

Last week the Chargers did some interesting things post-snap to confuse our hero.  We'll take a look at one such play today in The Playbook Abides.   This will help us gauge Tebow's continued growth and development. 

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